On ice, and on the air

4 October 2009, 16:12

Hockey has always been a big draw on Russian TV - but now the KHL is going global. The league has signed three-year contracts with VIASAT and VIASAT Baltic, meaning around 70 games a season will be broadcast in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Baltic States.

Central Europe doesn't miss out either, with Novasport agreeing to beam matches into the living rooms and bars of Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It all means that the league's imported stars - such as Czech Jaromir Jagr, Swede Mattias Weinhandl, Spartak's clutch of Slovaks or Finns Janne Pesonen and Niko Kapanen at Ak Bars - can be seen in action by their fans back home.

October 1 saw another landmark – the first broadcasts of games on the league’s dedicated channel, KHL TV, available as part of the NTV cable and satellite packages. Many games can also be seen live online at

Of course the league's member nations also enjoy huge coverage. Russia's state TV channel RTR Sport shows more than 160 KHL games a season – far more than the old Russian Superleague. Kazakh TV aims to show around 300 games while Latvia and Belarus both provide extensive coverage of their representatives as well.

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